September 23, 2012

Alabama Baptist Children’s Home

Children’s Hope is partnering with the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home (ABCH – www.alabamachild.org) to provide Christian homes for foster children.  One aspect of ABCH is that they license and oversee foster families. They receive referrals from the Dept. of Human Resources (DHR) for foster children coming into care.  For example, DHR has to remove a child from a home for neglect. The DHR social worker contacts ABCH to see if they have a foster home available.  If they do, the child is placed in this home.  DHR will continue to have authority in this child’s situation but the child will benefit from all the resources that ABCH has to offer.  ABCH also places children who come into care through private placement.  For example, a grandparent can no longer care for a grandchild for some reason and has no other options with a relative placement.

ABCH is not bound by county lines, so they can work with county DHR offices in Autauga and Elmore counties.  Bobbi Olson is the local social worker employed by ABCH that works with our FBC families and other families in the tri-county area.   Bobbi works closely with DHR workers, assists foster parents in coordinating doctor’s appt., educational needs, etc., and gives guidance to foster parents on the unique needs of foster children.  Bobbi Olson can be reached at 334-430-7569 or bolson@abchome.org

ABCH is a child care placing agency in the State of Alabama and therefore, follows the rules and regulations of the AL Dept. of Human Resources.  They follow the same regulations and requirements for foster care families/homes as DHR.  Basic requirements for being a foster parent can be found at www.dhr.alabama.gov/services/Foster_Care/Intro_Foster_Care.aspx.  Also, a family/individual must complete foster care training (GPS-Group Preparation and Selection) which is a 10 week course that covers the background, needs, and losses of children coming into care.  Once this is completed, a home study will be completed, CPR and water safety classes will be provided, and up to date physicals will be required.  While the process of becoming accredited may be a little overwhelming, it all will be well worth the effort when families/individuals are able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for a foster child!

A foster family may have a foster child in their home for a variable amount of time.  The length of stay depends on each situation.  Children come into foster care due to no fault of their own.  Instead, children are removed due to neglect and/or abuse or a lack of any family member available to provide a safe and stable home environment.

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